OVERALL JUDGES for the 2023 State Pageant were:
Tamara Abney is the current Mrs. Pennsylvania America and had the honor of representing Pennsylvania at the Mrs. America competition in Las Vegas, Nevada (Top 6 Finalist).
Tamara’s platform as Mrs. Pennsylvania America is titled “Carefree Schools Days. Period.” and aims to provide 100,000 menstrual pads to schools across the Commonwealth. She also advocates for menstrual equity and fights against period poverty through her Pittsburgh-based nonprofit, SisterFriend, Inc. This year, Tamara was chosen by the Always Brand and Walmart as Pennsylvania’s “Period Hero” and received a donation of 50,000 Always Pads and Liners to help support her work. Since 2015, Tamara’s organization has provided the community with over a half million pads, tampons, and undergarments.
Professionally, Tamara serves as the Chief of Staff at Entrepreneurs Forever and is the owner and lead trainer at TAMARA ABNEY professional empowerment (www.tamaraabney.com), a professional development consulting firm dedicated to helping businesses and business professionals maximize their potential to establish a distinct competitive edge.
Tamara is a resident of Pittsburgh, PA, and is married to The Honorable Aerion Andrew Abney, PA State House Representative. Together they have two wonderful sons, Aerius and Amari.
SHERIE AMBER ALLEN FORD
From Queensland, Australia Sherie is widely versed in many things. As a child she grew up competing in equestrian, even gaining the coveted title of Junior Australian Champion. She went on to get two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics in Australia. She took her passion of helping others to Southeast Asia where she volunteered in Cambodia at a prosthetics facility. In her lifetime she has traveled to over 50 countries and has even been a snorkeling instructor in the Great Barrier Reef! Currently she resides in Ohio with her husband Jake and Dachshund Nolan. Continuing with her prosthetics and orthotics career Sherie manages and works for a clinic where she continually helps others in this field. Sherie is very excited to expand her horizons and meet all of the amazing delegates this weekend!
Matt Perotti performed as a singer and stage actor for over thirty years. He has taught and coached acting, directed multiple plays, and is a professional Voice Actor. His most rewarding job, though, was the thirteen years he spent working directly with the homeless community helping people transition from homelessness to independence.
Matt has worked with teenagers and young adults since 1993 in teaching and mentoring roles, and has been judging pageants since 2010, covering a variety of events at local, regional, and state levels.
This year marks fifteen years of marriage to the woman of his dreams. They have three young children: two daughters and a son.
Kayla Stokes is from the little town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, however she travels the country choreographing for dance, baton twirling, gymnastics and pageantry. She is the director of Triple Threat
Pageant Academy having numerous national and state titleholders in the Miss America and Miss USA pageant.
Kayla is classically trained, but when asked, she said she threw herself into jazz and performance pieces growing up. She has performed in Walt Disney World, Bush
Gardens, Dorney Park & Wild Water Kingdom, New York City, Macy’s & Dunkin Donuts Thanksgiving Parades in NYC & Philadelphia. While traveling and working with new students across the country, she has moved into the film industry, where she has had several students appear in commercials, shows and Netflix films. Kayla’s favorite quote is “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game,”-Babe Ruth.
Kennedy Williams, the Former Miss Maryland Earth USA 2021, began her dance training ten years ago and currently just transferred from Anne Arundel Community College, where she was the president of the AACC Dance Company to Towson University, where she is studying dance. She is also a part-time jazz and technique dance instructor at the POM Squad of Montgomery County. She has been dancing competitively for over nine years. Her first competition was part of a state pageant, which she enjoys competing in regularly, or when time allows. Kennedy has competed in tap, modern, contemporary, jazz and lyrical, with jazz being her favorite, and has a first-place award for her lyrical solo. In addition to several regional titles in the lyrical and jazz genre, Kennedy’s passion for dance led her to open her own studio, KPW Dance, in her home basement where she taught students dance and held performances for the parents.
Kennedy has competed in various pageant systems and has held several titles. Most recently, she has embarked on a modeling career for local musicians, working with professional photographers, being invited to ATL Market, as well as clothing entrepreneurs. When she is not modeling or dancing, she works on non-profit initiatives with G-I-R-L-S-Inc. or shopping, which is a favorite pastime!
Beginning her pageant career at just the age of 16, competing at the Miss America System and placing in the top 10 for Miss Teen DC, Quaniece is no stranger to the pageant world.
Currently residing in Alexandria, Virginia, Quaniece represents her International Miss US United title with great pride and elegance. When she isn't working full time or representing her title, she is a manager and CEO of Queens Cocktails LLC in Virginia.
Someone that she looks up to as an inspiration is the beautiful Vanessa Williams. She was the first African American woman to win Miss American in 1984, and also a great humanitarian.
As a potential contestant, when searching for the next pageant she looks for one that focuses on community service. As Quaniece states "Aside from the glam what effect do you have on your community?"
OPTIONAL EMCEE: LAURA PARK
Laura Park is the reigning 2022 Captivating Mrs. Midwest and 3 rd runner up at the National pageant. Laura is a retired a law enforcement officer, with over 30 years of law enforcement service. She was the first female Sergeant in the City of Maple Heights and was later promoted to the first female Lieutenant.
Laura is a staunch advocate for survivors of domestic violence and is founder of Fight Like A Girl defense tactics class. She has received numerous awards and accommodations throughout her career for her service to the community and Cuyahoga County, including the Life Saver Award from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).
Laura is the mother of 3 and spends most of her time traveling
with her daughter, who is the reigning 2022 US American Miss National Jr. Teen.
MAIN EMCEE: KIM FOERSTER
Kim Foerster has been involved in pageantry most of her life. Most recently Kim held the international title of Ms. North America 2021 and competed in Captivating Pageants as Mrs Ohio placing 4th runner up. Growing up with a terminally ill brother meant lots of medical appointments, doctors visits , and emotions. Pageants were an outlet for young Kim to have a sense of normalcy and fun. Pageantry has given her a sisterhood of many life long friendships, but it has also given her a voice. Having a big brother who could not advocate for himself, Kim is determined to leave his legacy by being that voice for others. She has dedicated her life to service. Living with chronic lung disease herself, she volunteers with the American Lung Association to educate others on lung health. Kissing her aunt goodbye to pancreatic cancer, has also given her the reason to get involved with the Pancreatic Action Network. She is passionate about making a difference for families who are like hers.
When not advocating, Kim spends her time in Ohio with her husband Bobby and their two children, Jaelyn and Jordan, along with their mini zoo of pets. Kim is a dance and baton teacher and loves being a role model for her students. She has worked in the financial industry for over 18 years. Kim is the owner of Royal Glow Spray Tanning and is currently attending Casal Aveda Institute for advanced esthetics.
OPTIONAL EMCEE: HELYNA PARK
Helyna Barbara Park is a freshman at Padua Franciscan High School and is currently the National 2022 US American Jr Teen. She has been actively competing in scholarship pageants since the age of 10.
A dedicated athlete who competes on a National volleyball team and travels all over the country. She is an actor and
model signed with the Docherty Talent Agency in Cleveland Ohio. Helyna is an advocate for Crown Cares and the anti-bullying campaign. She is also the founder of the Positivity Posse, which is an anti-bullying movement promoting kindness and compassion to girls all over the state. She loves sponsoring scholarships to
girls following their dreams and inspiring others to be kind and compassionate to others.
She hails from a family of military and first responders and has a strong devotion for serving others. She is the baby of the family and has two siblings. Her favorite hobby is tubing with her friends in Lake Erie.